Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Genesis 4 - The Story of Cain and Abel (A Sunday School Discussion)
Our friend, Nathan, brought up two famous Biblical brothers, Cain and Abel. 
Abel sacrificed a perfect, fat calf on the alter to God; and Cain offered some crops from the fields he had been working. They both were seeking and worshiping God.
Abel's sacrifice pleased God.
Cain's? Not so much.

I've heard all kinds of speculation about why God refused Cain's sacrifice. I was ready for that discussion, but Nathan threw me a curve ball. He didn't want to discuss God's 'why?'
Instead, He focused on Cain's reaction.

God was ready to have a loving, fatherly, teaching moment with Cain. 
Genesis 4:6-7 says:
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
God SPOKE to Cain. They had THAT kind of a relationship.
Cain could have humbled himself and quickly made things right, but he chose to get ticked.
(How incredibly human of him.)

Cain thought God had some kind of nerve.
I mean, Cain was SEEKING God. 
He was giving God GOOD THINGS.
He was not living like the pagans. 
He was presenting what He thought God should want (the fruits of his labor)...
And God REJECTED what he offered? 
God wanted something different than what Cain had in mind...and Cain decided He was WRONG.

So...we were having this great conversation when good ol' Nathan asks, "How many of us are living like Cain (on our own terms) and thinking God should accept it as 'good enough'?"
*Oh, SNAP!*
Ouch. Something inside me definitely broke. 

What if I have been living my OWN version of right, but NOT God's version?
  • Could it be? My way looks GREAT on paper. Church people (and even unchurched people) would probably agree that I'm on the 'right' path. I have a good life. I laugh a lot. I get excited about serving others. I do good things. BUT WHAT IF IT ISN'T WHAT GOD WANTS FROM ME? 
  • What if God's way looks different than the expectations that this world, my church, and my imagination have put firmly in place? 
  • What if all the ministry and church-going I've been doing isn't where God wants me? Have I asked Him, or just assumed it was right...because I was seeking God...and because I thought it was 'good'?
My will, my expectations, my church background - none of them matter when it comes to following God.
Only HIS will matters, but I do a lot of things without checking with God first. 
I'm capable. 
I'm smart. 
My actions are (often) logical and even based on Biblical principles, but that doesn't mean they are right.  How much am I missing while offering what I THINK God wants...or what I think God SHOULD want?
It was eye-opening.
It's really a change for me to consult God's word and listen for His direction before every decision, before every word, before every moment.
I'm not very good at it.
In some areas, I've found out that what I've been offering fits more with my culture than with God's Word; and when He disagrees with what I've been offering, I need to humbly correct the situation.
If I decide I don't like what He has to say and keep on the same, comfortable path; then my brothers ought to start watching their back, because I'm really no different than Cain. 


  1. Great words of wisdom. This is something I'll be thinking about for a while. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Glad I could share. This thought has been rolling around in my head for a few months now. I think it moved in and made itself comfortable. Now I know I am not alone :)


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